Citizens' Climate Initiative Tampere 21
Xu Yedan   Apr 30.2016

Introduction

Problem:Environmental protection used to be a marginal and neglected branch of City of Tampere's municipal administration. In this industrial city of 170,000 people, environmental protection was addressed in a very narrow manner, with no concern for the global impact of local actions. The city administration had not integrated the targets of its first environmental plan (in 1991) into its activities and the proposed measures were therefore never seriously implemented. As a result, there was growing frustration at both the city's Environmental Protection Unit – whose plans and programs were neglected- and among concerned citizens who felt left out of the decision-making process for matters concerning their own environment.

Highlights:

Preparation for the climate initiative began in 1992 when a few environmental activities rallied local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for support. Eighteen civic groups and organizations agreed to join the coalition. As a result of this action, the TAMPERE 21 initiative was presented to the city council in February 1993. In May, the NGO collation organized a bicycle demonstration and multi-cultural event on a car-free street.

Details

Description:In 1992 a coalition of NGOs called TAMPERE 21, in partnership with the University of Tampere, initiated a dialogue between citizens and decision makers about local action to prevent climate change. The result was a new environmental policy for the City of Tampere as well as increased public awareness and a handbook on local climate action. Environmental activists in other Finnish cities have replicated the work done in Tampere.
Approach
The following year, in March 1994, the first planning seminar was held on Tampere's new environmental policy. During March and April public discussions were held on the environmental impacts of urban plans prepared for the city centre. TAMPERE 21 prepared a position paper on the draft plan for the city centre, focusing on climate issues. In May, Tampere was invited to join the Climate Alliance of European Cities with Indigenous Peoples and in June a petition signed by over 1,000 people demanding more bicycle routes was presented to the mayor. 
Also in May 1994, TAMPERE 21 conducted an evaluation of the first environmental protection plan and concluded that most targets had not been achieved. In August the coalition presented a proposal to meet the main targets of the city's new environmental plan to local decision makers. At the same time, the city commissioned the Department of Environmental Policy of the University of Tampere to undertake a study of local CO2 emissions. In December, Tampere's new environmental plan was approved by city council. 
The following year, in March 1995, TAMPERE 21 published a handbook for local climate action called 'Myrsky ja Mylvèys!' (Storm and Thunder!). In May public debates were held on the city's energy policy and traffic issues. In June TAMPERE 21 sent the City Board a memorandum demanding that implementation of the city's environmental plan be speeded up. That same month the TAMPERE 21 model for action was adopted by other Finnish cities.
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Results

In its new environmental policy program, the City of Tampere has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions, putting Tampere among the most environmentally-conscious municipalities in Finland. There is the potential to make a significant impact, since the Tampere municipal administration is directly responsible for 70% of the area's greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike the previous plan, the new plan has political backing; the city council has approved the plan and instructed all of the city administration's departments to implement it. 
The City of Tampere has taken the following climate-related actions as proposed by the TAMPERE 21 coalition: 

·Prepared an energy-saving plan for municipal offices and other municipally-owned facilities; 

·Established a system for the collection and composting of domestic organic waste; 

·Integrated planning for Tampere's regional transport system; 

·Joined ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability; 

·Hired a new staff member to ensure the implementation of the new environmental plan. 

Additionally, the creation of TAMPERE 21 has resulted in an improvement in citizen participation. It provides a valuable link between local citizens and decision makers, where decision makers are invited to face the public on citizens` terms this removing the monopoly of taking action away from city officials. As a result, direct citizen participation has gained legitimacy. Resources used  The TAMPERE 21 coalition and the City of Tampere have provided human and financial resources to undertake the various project activities.


 

 

 

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